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After being in Richmond a few days, and by the advice of my fathergetting my parole from the United States Provost Marshal there, thequestion as to what I should do came up. My father told me that Icould go back to college if I desired and prepare myself for someprofession--that he had a little money which he would be willing andglad to devote to the completion of my education. I think he wasstrongly in favour of my going back to college. At the same time hetold me that, if I preferred it, I could take possession of my farmland in King William County, which I had inherited from my grandfather,Mr. Custis, and make my home there. As there was little left of thefarm but the land, he thought he could arrange to help me build ahouse and purchase stock and machinery.
My brother, General W. H. F. Lee, had already gone down to his place,"The White House" in New Kent County, with Major John Lee, our firstcousin, had erected a shanty, and gone to work, breaking up land fora corn crop, putting their cavalry horses to the plow. As I thoughtmy father had use for any means he might have in caring for my motherand sisters, and as I had this property, I determined to become afarmer. However, I did not decide positively, and in the meantimeit was thought best that I should join my brother and cousin at theWhite House and help them make their crop of corn. In returning toRichmond, I had left at "Hickory Hill," General Wickham's place inHanover County, our horses and servants, taken with me from Lynchburgto Greensboro and back. So bidding all my friends and family good-bye,I went by rail to "Hickory Hill" and started the next day with threeservants and about eight horses for New Kent, stopping the first nightat "Pampatike." The next day I reached the White House, where thereinforcements I brought with me were hailed with delight.
Though I have been a farmer from that day to this, I will say that thecrop of corn which we planted that summer, with ourselves and armyservants as laborers and our old cavalry horses as teams, and whichwe did not finish planting until the 9th of June, was the best I evermade.